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PublicSource is displaying the work of six photographers taking part in an independent project focusing on the impact of Marcellus Shale drilling and pipeline building on individuals and communities in Pennsylvania.

The project involves six noted photographers and is led by one of them, Brian Cohen. It is supported by The Sprout Fund and the Pittsburgh Foundation and  will culminate in an exhibition of photographs from the group at Pittsburgh Filmmakers beginning Oct. 11. The show will travel and will be accompanied by lectures, a book and an online archive.

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Each of the documentary photographers is telling a story they’ve come across in a different region of the state, focusing on the effects on the people, farms, homes, animals, businesses and the environment of that area.

The photographers are part of a distinguished legacy of documentary artists who have created powerful visual histories of communities. The photographers include Cohen, Martha Rial, Noah Addis, Nina Berman, Scott Goldsmith and Lynn Johnson.

Visit The Marcellus Shale Documentary Project website here.


An altered state

Photos by Nina Berman

Photographer Nina Berman is no newcomer to the field. Her book Purple Hearts – Back from Iraq explored the physical and psychological impact of war through portraits of wounded veterans.


Landscapes and faces

Photos by Noah Addis

Noah Addis is the fifth photographer in a series of six who are documenting the changes to communities throughout Pennsylvania because of Marcellus Shale drilling.

In Philadelphia, where Addis lives, “we hear a lot of shouting from activists on both sides of the story, but I’ve seen very little honest, nuanced coverage,” he said. “I personally approached this project without any kind of agenda. I just wanted to take a straightforward look to see how the landscape has been changed by the drilling boom.”


One family’s journey with Marcellus Shale

Photos by Scott Goldsmith

Article by Sharon Walsh

Scott Goldsmith was a newcomer to the topic of Marcellus Shale drilling when he began taking photos of the Hallowich family of Western Pennsylvania in 2010.

The Hallowiches became well known as the Washington County family that moved into what they thought was their dream home and then had health problems that they believed were caused by drilling on their property.


Marcellus Shale’s ‘accidental activists’

Photos by Lynn Johnson

Article by Sharon Walsh

Lynn Johnson is pale. No makeup. Straight, wheat-colored hair. It’s as if she’s fading into the background even as you meet her.

Underneath is an intensely committed Pittsburgh photographer who is looking for “the center of the energy,” outside herself. She has traveled for National Geographic magazine and other publications to places such as Siberia, Zambia and Antarctica.

But the latest focal point she has found is in Pennsylvania, among the people she calls “accidental activists” who’ve become involved in the issues surrounding natural gas drilling, the type known as fracking.


The landscape of Marcellus Shale

Photos by Brian Cohen

Article by Sharon Walsh

Pittsburgh photographer Brian Cohen set out more than a year ago to lead a group of photographers to document the impact of gas drilling on communities atop the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.


Kids and pipelines

Photos by Martha Rial

Story and audio by Emily DeMarco

Farmer Jeanne Williams and her 116 goats are waiting for their Greene County hillside to be returned to green pasture.

After two months of upheaval as workmen from Precision Pipeline dug a seemingly endless trench, a layer of mud covered the freshly installed pipeline that will ultimately ferry natural gas being extracted from Marcellus Shale deposits.